A ‘warning’ from an x-ray operator

By Alex P. Vidal

“Think twice before you pull your trouser and rape a woman; she may be your mother, sister or friend, and you know the consequences that follows.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson

AN x-ray operator from Northwell Health, New York’s largest nonprofit integrated healthcare network provider, warned me yesterday (May 9) that the Manhattan jury’s decision finding former President Donald Trump liable for defamation and sexually abusing the now 79-year-old writer E Jean Carroll “could set a bad precedent for all of us members of the male species.”

“Any woman can lodge a rape or sexual molestation complaint against any of us even after 30 years and we will be in trouble,” 63-year-old Torsteen rued. “What happened to the statute of limitations?”

Torsteen’s worries came some 15 minutes after the “breaking news” past three o’clock in the afternoon (past three o’clock in the morning May 10 in the Philippines), which said a jury in a civil case has found Mr. Trump sexually abused a magazine columnist in a New York department store sometime in 1996.

It’s the first time Mr Trump has been found legally responsible for a sexual assault.

Mr Trump was found not liable for raping Carroll in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.

The jury found Mr Trump liable for defamation for calling the columnist’s accusations “a Hoax and a lie”.


“This is outrageous,” Torsteen thundered. “It’s all about money—money and politics.”

I told Torsteen “we can only be in trouble (like Mr. Trump) if we also sexually abuse women.”

“(Former) President Trump got into trouble because of what he did to that woman (Carroll); and I heard there were 25 others who claimed he also sexually molested them,” I added.

“Oh, c’mon, that’s ridiculous buddy. It’s all about money, believe me,” Torsteen shot back.

The Manhattan jury ordered Mr Trump to pay Carroll about $5m in damages.

“Just give her money and she will disappear,” Torsteen remarked.

I retorted: “I heard she did not intend to demand any money but because it’s a civil case the jury had to determine the monetary liability.”

The jury of six men and three women reached their decision after less than three hours of deliberations on that afternoon.

“Today, the world finally knows the truth,” Carroll declared in a written statement following the verdict. “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”

The former president’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, confirmed Mr. Trump would appeal the decision.

Mr Trump will not be required to register as a sex offender because the trial was in civil court rather than criminal.


The former president has denied Carroll’s accusations and did not attend the two-week civil trial in the Manhattan federal court.

She held the hands of both her lawyers as the verdict was read in court and smiled as she was awarded damages by the jury.

“Congratulations and good luck,” Mr. Trump’s lawyer Tacopina told Carroll while shaking her hand as the trial ended.

“This is a victory not only for E Jean Carroll, but for democracy itself, and for all survivors everywhere,” declared Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for the plaintiff.

After the verdict, Mr Trump, 76, posted on his social media platform Truth Social in all capital letters: “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace – a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!”


The standard of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, meaning that jurors were only required to find that it was more likely than not that the former president assaulted Carroll.

While the jury found Mr Trump liable for sexual battery and defamation of Carroll, they did not find Trump liable of raping her. To do so, the jury would have needed to have been convinced that Mr Trump had engaged in non-consensual sexual intercourse with Carroll.

While Torsteen was lamenting the verdict, an elderly Jewish businessman, who doesn’t like Mr. Trump, overheard him.

“Look what kind of people are tolerating the abuses of Trump,” the Jewish man complained. “No wonder he is still popular among the Republicans.” He did not elaborate.

Torsteen turned his back in disgust.

“This is a bad day for all the males like us,” he murmured.

“A bad day for Trump and for you, not for us,” the Jewish man retorted.

The former Elle magazine columnist was able to bring the civil case against Mr Trump after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act in 2022.

The law allowed a one-year period for victims to file sexual assault lawsuits in the state involving claims that would have normally exceeded statute limitations.


The city of New York held its first Asian American and Pacific Islander Cultural and Heritage Parade in 2022, displaying traditions and culture from countries including China, South Korea, India, Malaysia and Thailand. A second parade is planned for this year, as well as a concert of Asian-centric music May 20–21. New York has also held an annual Asian Pacific American Heritage festival since 1979.

Each May, the United States celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, honoring AANHPI people’s rich history and contributions to the country.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)